Many moons ago while living in the north of Western Australia I had this sudden realization that the last 15 or so years of my life had revolved around my identity as a thyroid sufferer. Yes, there was a wedding, a child, and some traveling to break it up, but in between all these events, my health situation never changed. I had become identified by my thyroid, worse still, I identified myself by my thyroid.
When I realized this I decided that maybe it was time to change that story. So I packed up all my thyroid books and donated them to the local Well Woman’s Centre, I stopped researching anything to do with thyroid disease and no longer spoke of it. The only thing I stopped short of was throwing out my medication (sanity prevailed thank goodness). I’m not sure what I thought this would achieve. Maybe I thought my thyroid would magically heal because I was now pretending I didn’t have a problem. Maybe I thought it was all in my head to start with, who knows? I know at first it felt extremely liberating, you know, like finally letting go of a toxic friend. But as time marched on it became apparent that out of sight was most certainly not out of mind.
Five years later and all that had changed was that I no longer owned hundreds of dollars of amazing reference books!! I now know that
I was about halfway through my Naturopathy course when I confided in my clinic supervisor that I didn’t know why clients would want to listen to me and that I felt like a fraud. How was I ever going to be seen as a Naturopath? She looked me straight in the eyes and said “I don’t know of one single thyroid patient in this clinic that would not want to know why you have so much energy and motivation despite having Hashimoto’s! You will be successful because you know what its like, you understand this disease and because you have lived it for 20 years”
That was when it truly changed in my head and I understood that we all need to switch our thinking about how we see ourselves and whatever illness or situation we are dealing with. Right then I stopped being the victim of thyroid disease. The more I study and the more I learn about my own body, the more control I have over what it is doing and the more I understand what it needs to be able to function in a healthy way.
The funny thing is that I have come full circle now, the only difference is these days I am happy to be identified WITH thyroid disease and its healing instead of my story being defined by it. What is your thyroid story?